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Old 09-27-2007, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Keeping Ants out of Food

Hello Everyone,
I recently aquired 3 outdoor cats that I am now feeding. I already have 3 indoor cats, so feeding has not been a problem in the past but with these outdoor cats (and there is no bringing them inside right now as they are ferals) the ants keep getting in the food.
When I was at the spay/neuter clinic yesterday picking up one of the ferals, the employee there mentioned something that can be purchased from a pet store that the bowl goes in and she said NOTHING will get in. My problem is, I don't recall what it was called. Right now I have their bowls sitting in water but it is soooo messy.

I would appreciate any help.

Thanks,
Donna
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have two outdoor kittys and I spray the concrete under the bowl with a pesticide and I also spray the outside of the bowl of food.

This would NOT work well for messy eaters who drop food or like to pull food out of the bowl with their paws.

Another trick...ants HATE heat. If they are in the food, move the bowl to a sunny location and the ants will leave on their own in a short time.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the food bowls will prevent the ants from reaching the food. It's harmless to cats, but it will be kind of messy as it gets tracked around.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Found this website... looks like this could be what you were looking for:
http://sani-moat.com/Index.html

I also found out that using a big deep plastic pet bowl as moat with a smaller stainless steel one that fits snug in it worked really well - like on this picture (even after several days the ants never made it to the food, and that's in a place where any cat food is invaded after 5 minutes):

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Old 09-27-2007, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Their price is really reasonable, especially considering shipping is included. Shipping expenses being what they are nowadays, you're almost getting the bowl for nothing.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the infor on the ant barriers. I will probably order one tonight and in the mean time I will try your trick with the bowl inside of the bowl to see how that works. I'm finding that with 3 cats, it's a pain in the butt to be emptying water off of the cooking tray that I have their food on. It's so messy and I don't like water sitting around like that. I'm in Florida and it will just attract misquitos.

Thanks again for the infor and the suggestion; all were great ideas!

I'll let you know how things work out.
Donna
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know this is an old subject, but I'm having this issue, right now, so I thought I'd bump it up.

I feet my girls wet AND dry food (dry food is out all the time, wet food is only in the morning). The idea of the 'moat bowl' will work for the dry food, but I use small paper plates for the dry food, so I can't use that idea.

I can't spray the ground (the girls knock food out, then eat it or lick the ground from time to time) so insecticides on concrete beneath the bowls are out, they'll either lick up or track around anything I put on the ground and I have no idea where the ants are coming from (they seem to be coming from a basement wall) so I can't stop them from coming in very easily.

I need some ideas about how to keep their wet food safe. They come back to it throughout the day, so I can't pick it up when they're done in the morning and going to regular bowls for the wet food would end up being time consuming and I wouldn't keep up with it.

Anyone have any ideas? Sticky paper around the bowls, maybe?
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Using regular bowls in a moat seems the easiest solution to me. I know dried on wet food can be a bear to clean off though...I solve that problem by having 2 sets of bowls. When I feed them, I pick up the old bowl and throw it in the sink to soak and wash them sometime before the next meal. Takes me all of about a minute for all 3 bowls including filling them to soak and washing later.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, I used to do that but since the cat food isn't kept anywhere near a sink, I would either constantly forget to bring them up from the basement or constantly forget to wash and bring them down at feeding time. It just isn't an option for me.

I actually bought two small kiddie card tables from CVS (24" x 24" and only 20 inches off the ground). I put them next to each other, against the wall, arranged everything exactly the way I had it, before, put some treats on the table and the cats were right up there, eating treats and then checking things out!

Hopefully, this'll work alright. I know that, technically, ants can climb tables, but I'm surethey'll be much less of an issue this way.
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